Friday, May 18, 2012

2015: North’s governors back Buhari’s warning

Gen. Buhari

Again, certain facts are understood; that if this happens, that would happen... May be those who may be too concerned (about what Gen Buhari said) have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about. I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised...

There is nothing wrong in Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s warning against rigging of the 2015 general elections, the North’s governors said yesterday.

Gen. Buhari, the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 general election, stirred the hornet’s nest when he said violence will greet rigging of the 2015 polls.

The Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chided him. But the largest opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), backed the general whom it said could air his view freely.

The CPC also supported the former Head of State’s position, saying PDP should not intimidate Nigerians.

Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern Nigeria Governors Forum, told reporters in Kaduna yesterday after reading the communiqué of the 19 governors’ meeting that Gen. Buhari did not err by warning against rigging of elections.

He said: “Again, certain facts are understood; that if this happens, that would happen. I think it is a natural thing to do. May be those who may be too concerned (about what Gen Buhari said) have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about.

“I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised. I saw another one who has been talking like there would be war tomorrow. So, for me, that statement should be taken on its own value. Do not go and do bad election. I think that is the thing I will take from there.

“All of us who are involved in elections - political parties, contestants and the voters themselves - must be careful so that whatever we do, the semblance of good will be there. But, again, like I said, certain people are in a position that certain vocabularies they use, they should be careful about. So, both ways let us take it on our own stride and ensure that future elections are seen to be transparent and are seen to be good”.

Dr. Aliyu said even though people have various ways of communicating their opinion, the statement made by the former Head of State should be taken in its own value.

The governor, however, cautioned eminent Nigerians against making inflammatory statements capable of affecting the nation’s fragile unity and security. He said Nigerians must be concerned about the unity and development of the country in all its ramifications.

He noted that the central message of the former Nigerian leader is that stakeholders should strive to ensure that there is free and fair election, adding that all those involved in conducting elections must be careful in whatever they do so that the outcome will be transparent.

With the Niger State governor were other governors.

He was silent on Buhari’s threat of bloodbath, if the elections are not free and fair.

In the communiqué, the governors expressed concern about the growing insecurity in the region and pledged to intensify efforts at finding a lasting solution to the problems by reaching out to all stakeholders.

The governors said they had decided to reposition the forum to be more effective and provide good governance, better understanding and cooperation among members.

Speaking at the opening session of the meeting, Aliyu said:”My fellow colleagues, it is very disturbing to note the emerging trend of distractive political activities in the nation, ostensibly to prepare the ground for the actualisation of some people’s political ambition in 2015.

“Whereas it is legitimate for anybody to aspire to any leadership position, subject to the provision of our constitution, we must remember that 2015 or any date for that matter, belongs to Almighty Allah (SWT) who decrees what happens to individuals or society at any given period. We should, therefore, leave 2015 or beyond unto Almighty Allah to do as pleases Him.

“We should recognise that the interest of the people is paramount and we must use the political party platform to promote such interest in fulfillment of the campaign pledges made to the people. We need to rededicate ourselves to the service of our people, especially the underprivileged in the society.

“This is contingent on the fact that we have the mandate of the people and that Allah will hold us accountable for our actions and inactions. Let us resist the temptation to be drawn into issues that may only cause us to lose focus in serving the people or gaining the everlasting favour of our creator.

“If our present opportunity as governors and leaders cannot earn us paradise, it should not send us to hell. Above all, we must do everything possible to ensure that we enter 2015 as a peaceful and united constituent, Nigeria.”

Aliyu said it was unfortunate that insecurity had not abated; rather, it is worsening and attaining very alarming dimension, with attendant negative implications for the economic growth, development and image of the nation.

Nigeria, he said, is “passing through a very difficult phase in the history of the nation, a period that put our patriotism, nationalism, sincerity and responsibility collectively to test.

“This is the period that we have to demonstrate individually and collectively our abiding faith in our nation, when we must confront the common enemies of the nation, those who are sworn to destroying the spirit of nationhood through wanton destruction of lives and property.”

Aliyu praised the Federal Government for its readiness to dialogue on security issues with various interest groups, adding: “We should, therefore, encourage any individual or group that can make positive contributions to the peace building process, while at our own level, we should do everything possible to bring peace to reign in our states.”

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